Uber agrees investment deal with SoftBank

From BBC - January 18, 2018

A group of investors led by SoftBank is taking a large stake in Uber in a deal that will leave the ride-hailing firm's co-founder an official billionaire.

Uber said it has closed the deal with the consortium, which is purchasing $1.25bn in new shares and a large number from existing shareholders.

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who stepped down as chief executive in June, is reportedly one of the sellers.

The consortium will have a 17.5% stake in the company.

The transaction is valued at more than $8bn. As part of the deal, Uber's board has expanded from 11 to 17 directors, with Softbank's investor group taking two of the new seats.

The shake-up comes as Uber concludes a difficult year, in which it faced a sexual harassment scandal, investigations by regulators and a lawsuit over allegedly stolen technology.

It also continues to experience steep losses.

In a statement on Thursday, Uber called the deal a "great outcome for our shareholders, employees and customers, strengthening Uber's governance as we double down on our technology investments and continue to bring our services to more people in more places around the world".

The consortium includes Dragoneer Investment Group and SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate that has been making a series of increasingly high-profile technology investments.

The transaction will leave SoftBank with about 15% of Uber, expanding its transportation holdings.

The firm has also backed China's Didi Chuxing and Southeast Asian taxi-hailing app Grab, among other companies.

Details of the investment

Analysis - Dave Lee, BBC North America technology reporter


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